Dr Zoë Popper’s research interests include the impact that environment has on plant and algal cell walls as well as the interrelationship between parasitic plants and their host plants at the cellular to ecological level.

Current and recent research projects

The effects of desiccation and age on the cell wall biochemistry of charophycean green algae (visiting PhD student Klaus Herburger, University of Innsbruck, Austria). 

Infection processes used by the parasitic plant Cuscuta (visiting PhD student Stian Olsen, University of Tromsø, Norway).

Effect of mechanical stimulation on plant growth and cell wall morphology and composition (IRCSET-funded postdoctoral researcher Dr Olivier Leroux).

Effect of yellow rattle on ecology and species diversity of grasslands (IRCSET-funded PhD student Anna Pielach). 

Adaptive diversification of cell walls

Related publications

Olsen S, Popper ZA, Krause K. 2016. Two sides of the same coin: xyloglucan

endotransglucosylases/hydrolases in host infection by the parasitic plant Cuscuta. Plant Signalling

and Behaviour 3: 11(3):e1145336. doi: 10.1080/15592324.2016.1145336   

Olsen S, Striberny B, Hollmann J, Schwacke R, Popper ZA, Krause K. 2016. Getting ready for host invasion: elevated expression and action of xyloglucan endotransglucosylases/hydrolases in developing haustoria of the holoparasitic angiosperm Cuscuta. Journal of Experimental Botany 67: 695–708 doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv482  

Popper Z.A., Ralet M.-C., Domozych D.S. 2014. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality.

Preface for Special Issue on Plant Cell Walls. Annals of Botany 114: 1043–1048


Pielach A, Leroux O, Domozych DS, Knox JP, Popper ZA. 2014. Arabinogalactan protein-rich cell

walls, paramural deposits and ergastic globules define the hyaline bodies of Rhinanthoid

Orobanchaceae haustoria. Annals of Botany 114: 1359–1373 doi.10.1093/aob/mcu121 

Leroux O, Eeckhout S, Viane RLL, Popper ZA. 2013. Ceratopteris richardii (C-Fern): a model for

investigating adaptive modification of vascular plant cell walls. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 367. doi.


Fangel JU, Ulvskov P, Knox JP, Mikkelsen MD, Harholt J, Popper ZA, Willats WG. 2012. Cell wall evolution and diversity. Front. Plant Sci. 3: 152. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00152 

Popper ZA, Michel G, Hervé C, Domozych DS, Willats WGT, Tuohy MG, Kloareg B, Stengel DB. 2011. Evolution and diversity of plant cell walls: from algae to flowering plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 62: 567–590. 

Popper ZA and Tuohy MG. 2010. Beyond the green: understanding the evolutionary puzzle of plant

and algal cell walls (invited update). Plant Physiol 153: 373–383. doi:10.1104/pp.110.158055 

Popper ZA. 2008. Evolution and diversity of green plant cell walls (invited review). Current Opinion in Plant Biology 11: 286–292. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.02.012

For more details and full publications see and academic profile.